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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Blogger Application 2011! by Chris Peterson SM '13

how to be a blogger

It's summer in Cambridge, which means three things:

1) It's hot. And I do mean very warm. As you all know we are in a heat wave right now. Not only did my bike handles melt a bit when I got on to ride this morning, but check out what the Boston Globe had for its weather forecast for the long weekend:

A sun-moon wearing shades? Now that is some serious heat. 

(according to accuweather it peaked at 108 heat index today) 

2) Travel. Just returned from a Brown-Yale-MIT trip to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, driving all the way through. A blog, with pictures, forthcoming on that one. 

and last, but definitely not least,

3) Blogger Application 2011

Be a blogger! As usual, we will primarily be looking for incoming freshman; however, we have a few upperclassmen spots that are open for the fall, and if you feel you can make a compelling case for your inclusion among them, please feel free to send an application.

Our bloggers are expected to:

  • Update their blogs at least once every week or two
  • Possess the excellent judgment, narrative poise, and communicative capacity to routinely and regularly address tens of thousands of prospective MIT students and millions of other people around the world, and
  • Be comfortable with, or willing to learn, basic blogging skills, and including multimedia like videos and images into your posts to make them interesting.

To be considered for a blogger position, you must email me (chris dot peterson at mit dot edu) by August 1st. Yes, that is not very far away – but neither is orientation! 

Your application must include the following:

Blogging/Writing Experience

We are looking for people who can communicate in a compelling fashion to our large and active community, and your portfolio will demonstrate your (in)ability to do this.

  • We would prefer it to be a blog. We are not particularly picky about the definition of a blog. Broadly speaking, we are looking for regularly updated writings of around 500-1000 words on the Internet. We have found that students who are already accustomed to keeping a blog make the transition to blogging for MITAdmissions more easily than do those for whom the experience is entirely foreign. 
  • However, a blog is not required. Some of our best bloggers had never done it before we hired them. Prior experience in the medium is less important than your ability to master it. You may have other experiences that demonstrate your capacity to communicate: forum posts, a weekly editorial in the high school or town newspaper, etc. You may send these to us, either as a supplement to your blogging portfolio or as your portfolio itself. Again, the most important thing is that you convince us you will tell compelling stories that will keep people coming back to the blog.
  • If you do have a current blog, please send a link to it. If your blog is locked/protected, please also include a way for the committee to read the entries you'd like us to see. (You don't need to clean it up — we will understand that a very public, unlocked site would contain different writing than a locked, personal journal) If you do not have a blog, a) send us links to your other online writings (forum posts, etc) or b) email us copies of writing samples, along with some sort of verification for how frequently you wrote and for what audience.


  • Tell us your intended major and/or research interest. 
  • Tell us what activities you are presently or hope to become involved with at MIT.
  • The dormitory or FSILG you presently or hope to live with.

Quick-Answer (30 words or less)

  • Little Known Fact About You
  • Little Known Fact About Anything You Care to Share

Short-Answer (250 words or less each)

  1. Describe why you want to be an admissions blogger and what unique things you feel you'll contribute to the program. You may (and should) discuss the life experiences or aspirations that will contribute to your interesting perspective, as well as any other creative skills that you can bring to bear to make your posts compelling for our readers.
  2. Tell us the strangest thing you have encountered while traveling that locals thought perfectly commonplace. If you haven't traveled much, put yourself in the role of an outsider visiting your community. 
  3. Tell us a story. Fictional or factual.  

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

10 responses to “Blogger Application 2011!”

  1. rfong'12 says:

    dude, what happened to grilling them with demands like, “Once, during a slow week, Laura bit through her own lip so that she’d have something to blog about. Do you think you can compete with her dedication to the program?”

    although i have to say that writing my application entirely in mixed metaphors and pseudo literary analysis was probably preferable to amputating a body part to one-up Laura.


  2. Snively says:

    At least you aren’t asking for lolsnivelys this year.

  3. Matt S says:

    If my portfolio consists of 2 pieces for my high school political newspaper, (but I’ve got heart, and I’m willing to learn, I swear!) would the short answer questions be enough to show you how I write, or am I out of luck?

  4. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    matt –


  5. '14 says:

    Potentially a stupid question, but where should we send the application?

  6. Chris S. '11 says:

    aardvarks! aardvarks!

  7. Yoni Miller says:

    I’m really excited to see the outcome!! Congratulation to everyone who even applied!! smile

  8. hopeful? says:

    Hi Chris!
    when will we know if we get to be a blogger?

  9. Chris Peterson SM '13 says:

    third week of august or so

  10. Alan Joseph says:

    My name is Alan. I’m from India. I would like to apply to MIT this year for undergraduate study. I am yet to take the SAT exam this year, and will probably take it next month. But as I am a Seventh – day Adventist, I will not be able to take the exam on Saturdays. I also know that the College Board conducts exams, for those who have religious observances on Saturdays, on Sundays. But I see on the College Board website, that Sunday testing is not available for India and Pakistan. I am not sure of what I should do. Doubts, like the following arise.
    1. Could I apply without the SAT exam?
    2. Should I take the ACT? I’m not sure if there is an ACT testing center in India or in the region where I live.
    3. Will MIT consider my application without my SAT scores?
    Please advise me on this matter. Looking forward to your soon reply.
    Thank You,
    Alan Joseph

    P.S – Below is a copy of the E-mail that I sent the College Board, earlier today.

    My name is Alan. I live in India. I would like to write the SAT exam this year, probably next month, so that I will be able to apply to some of the colleges in the U.S. I am aware that the SAT is held only on Saturdays. But as I am a Seventh – day Adventist, I will not be able to take it on Saturdays. I also know that you conduct exams, for those who have religious observances on Saturdays, on Sundays. But I see on the College Board website, that Sunday testing is not available for India and Pakistan. I am in a delusion about what to do. Please advise me on this matter. Looking forward to your soon reply.
    Thank you,
    Alan Joseph